I've been using a tape measure for years, but I really didn't pay any attention to some of the markings and notations that are found on them. Generally all my work with a tape measure involves measuring and cutting. I'm not much of a carpenter and I usually only build simple things like shelves or decks.

I recently found out that there are some very helpful markings that denote specific measurements that people who work in the building industry probably use everyday without even thinking about it. For me it's a helpful bit of information. For instance, did you know that the black diamonds that are found starting at 19.2 inches are called "black truss" markings and are used to mark out where the trusses will line up on an 8-foot sheet of plywood, allowing for five trusses per sheet? Although most builders today use 24 inches on center for roof truss spacing and 16 inches on center for wall studs, which brings us to the next noticeable markings on your tape measure. Most tape measures also highlight, usually in red, the measurements for studs at 16 inches, 32 inches, 48 inches and so on. This is helpful if you're searching for the studs under the drywall when trying to do some interior decorating and you need something solid to anchor into. It doesn't hurt to have a stud finder as well.

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